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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Jul 7, 2014

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Reduce spacing between a paragraph Heading style and the following body text (and other paragraph style tips)

While you can adjust inter-paragraph spacing throughout the entire document (or for selected paragraphs) in one step with Format, Paragraph, Format, <Spacing between paragraphs>, you might want to adjust just the space between paragraph styles (e.g., Heading 2 or MyHeadingStyle 5) and the following paragraph's body text.


Here's one way to do it:

  • Either create a new paragraph heading style with Format, Styles, Create, or edit your existing style with Format, Styles, <stylename>, Edit.
  • At the bottom of the Styles Editor dialog window, be sure to check (i.e., enable) the button, "Show off codes."
  • Now, in the Contents window of the Styles Editor, place the cursor before all codes. Then, on the Styles Editor menu, click on Format, Typesetting, Advance to bring up the Advance dialog. Click the "Down from insertion point" radio button, then set the Vertical distance to (for example) 0.15". Click OK.
  • Next, be sure the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog entitled "Show 'off codes'" is enabled (ticked); then position the cursor in the Contents window after all codes (especially after the [Codes to the left are ON, codes to the right are OFF] code, which is a sort of placeholder for the text to which the style will be applied). Click on Format, Typesetting, Advance to bring up the Advance dialog. Click the "Up from insertion point" radio button, then set the Vertical distance to (e.g.) 0.15".
  • Click OK twice to return to the document.

Note: Normal, 12-point text gives 6 lines per inch, or 0.167" between base lines. The above method adjusts the inter-paragraph space to 0.017" (0.167-0.150). This setting assumes you will have a hard return (i.e., a blank line) between the headings and the following paragraphs, so it adjusts the amount of inter-paragraph blank space by reducing it. Be sure to adjust the vertical down/up amounts to match your particular needs.

Optional: Save (copy) the style to your default template so that it can be used in any new (blank) document based on the default template: Click Format, Styles, <select the style from the list>, Options, Copy, Default template, OK.

Other tips and workarounds:

¤  If you need to mark a custom Heading style for automatic inclusion in a Table of Contents, see here.

¤  Some paragraph formatting in the text of a document can be "inherited" by a Paragraph Style further in the document.

One type of such formatting is using "First line indent" in Format, Paragraph, Format -- usually at the top of the document -- to automatically indent the first line of all paragraphs (i.e., text ending with a hard return or equivalent).

So, for example, if you had set this format to a non-zero amount (e.g., 0.3"), any Paragraph Style of the same type further down in the document (e.g., a Heading style) will also become indented that same amount -- probably not what you want for Headings.

Moreover, if you try to set a Heading's "First line indent" back to 0" with Format, Paragraph, Format in the Heading's Styles Editor, you might notice that WordPerfect will not insert a code if it is the same as the current (or default) setting for that particular formatting. WordPerfect abhors using (some) duplicate format codes.

Here's a trick to overcome that limitation:

In the Heading's Styles Editor, insert a "First line indent" setting (at the beginning of all codes in the Contents pane, with the Editor's Format, Paragraph, Format menu) that is greater than 0" -- and then immediately insert another one that is equal to 0". The second code ([First Ln Ind: 0"]) will take precedence since it is "downstream from the first code.

Then exit from the Styles Editor. (Bring up the Editor again and you should see a [First Ln Ind: 0"] code there. And all the Headings (of that format style) should now start at the left margin, not at the first line indent value the other paragraphs have.)

Related tip: In a similar manner to that above, you can reset the Left (or Right) margin adjustments in the Heading style that you might have made in the document with Format, Paragraph, Format dialog.